‘Something Wrong’ is the new single by Hand Habits, taken from their upcoming mini-album Sugar The Bruise, set for release in June. Hand Habits is the project of Meg Duffy, an American musician and guitarist who has played as a studio musician on records by the likes of The War on Drugs, Weyes Blood and Perfume Genius.
It’s not often a song captivates me as much as ‘Something Wrong’ did on first listen, taking me on a journey with its charming sounds and interesting textured soundscape. The track starts with a huge drum sound with an ’80s style reverb and acapella vocals. As a huge fan of acapella, this was the perfect way to instantly immerse the listener, complementing the dark and edgy melody.
The track soon erupts into a warm folky chorus complete with acoustic guitar, dreamy harmonies and gentle vocals, juxtaposed with the very different feel of the verse. In the second verse, a robotic vocal harmony enters, giving it a once more different feel – something slightly unsettling, yet deeply satisfying.
Building into a more dramatic third, the buzzing synth gives it an enchanting sense of urgency. The repetition of “is there something wrong with that” is an earworm of a melody that gets in your head. Despite the lyrical sparseness, it has an intimacy that draws you in, making you contemplate life.
The songs on the album were all inspired by a songwriting class that Duffy taught in summer 2021 and were semi-improvised – surrendering to and trusting in whatever sounds and words emerged in the session. On the track, which was co-produced by Luke Temple with additional production, engineering and arranging from Jeremy Harris, Duffy created something which, in their own words, “turned out nothing like I’d imagined it would.”
‘Something Wrong’ is a carefully crafted track, oozing an exquisite stirring depth; setting the bar high for the rest of the album, and I can’t wait to hear it.
Sugar The Bruise, the upcoming mini album from Hand Habits, is set for release on 16th June via Fat Possum.
Photo Credit: Ivanna Baranova